Friday, November 19, 2010

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Episode Five

This one was a little hit and miss for me.  Lots of Pinkie Pie character development, but at the price of a rather unpleasant new character.  Hopefully the next episode's new character, who is also supposed to be unpleasant, won't be quite as unlikeable.
Griffon the Brush-Off
Out in the park, Twilight Sparkle attempts to read while Pinkie Pie describes Rainbow Dash's various acts of derring do.  Fortunately for Twilight's sanity, Pinkie soon spots the pegasus she was talking about and takes off after her, forced to forgo her signature bouncing for a full-out gallop in order to keep up.  Rainbow Dash is not particularly in the mood for Pinkie Pie's antics, and flies ever faster, ignoring Pinkie's cries until she learns, too late, that Pinkie was just trying to warn her about an upcoming mountain.  Ouch.
At a later point in time, Rainbow Dash's cloud nap is interrupted by the sounds of Pinkie Pie asking all the ponies on the ground where she is.  She isn't quick enough to hide herself in the cloud, so the only available option is to take off at lightning speed.  She lands behind Sweet Apple Acres' barn, but to her shock, Pinkie somehow managed to get there at the same time as (if not before) her.  So she takes off again, with Pinkie happily hopping after her.  This continues for a while, with Dash flying off to the furthest corners of Ponyville, only to find Pinkie there waiting for her.  It's only after she lands by the lake and Pinkie emerges wearing scuba gear that she resigns herself and agrees to help Pinkie with her project.
For undisclosed reasons, Pinkie has Rainbow Dash move a cloud into position, then wait for her signal.  She waits for Spike to finish shopping at the scroll store, and then signals Rainbow Dash to kick the cloud, creating a clap of thunder that scares Spike so bad he gets the hiccups.  He's a good sport about it, but Princess Celestia probably doesn't appreciate getting a bunch of blank scrolls.  Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash enjoy a good laugh, even when Rainbow Dash kicks the cloud again, scaring Pinkie into getting the hiccups.  Seeing the prankster side of the pink pony, Rainbow Dash proposes they hang out, which the hiccuping Pinkie readily accepts.  Cue a montage of pranks!  Sneezing powder in Rarity's flowers, disappearing ink messing with Twilight Sparkle's experiments, painted apples on Applejack's farm.  The other ponies mostly take them in stride (though Applejack does chuck the apples at the pranksters, who beat a hasty retreat), as it turns out Pinkie chooses her targets carefully, refusing to prank the sensitive Fluttershy, even with something as tame as a squirting turtle.  But Pinkie always has a back-up prank...
Early the next morning, Pinkie shows up at Rainbow Dash's awesome cloud house, ready for another day of pranking, but not ready to come face to face with a griffin.  Rainbow Dash introduces her to Gilda, her old pal from Junior Speedster Flight Camp.  At Dash's request, Gilda joins her in performing the camp's chant for Pinkie, who somehow finds inspiration for a prank in it.  Gilda claims to be down with pranking, but would rather go flying with Rainbow Dash.  Seeing as her friend just arrived, Rainbow Dash begs off, promising to catch up with Pinkie Pie later, which Pinkie sadly agrees to.
And so the two speedsters spend the morning racing above Ponyville.  While they take a break on a cloud, Pinkie Pie barges in on them by way of a trampoline, claiming it's "later."  Rainbow Dash is amused by this, but Gilda does not cotton to this interruption and races Rainbow Dash to an even higher cloud.  This does not stop Pinkie, though, as she merely ties enough balloons to herself to get up to them.  So Gilda challenges Dash to another race, but while the pegasus takes off, she sticks around and pops enough balloons to send Pinkie back down to the ground.  But in no time at all, Pinkie is back yet again, this time in some kind of crazy flying machine.  Gilda has Rainbow Dash show off her latest flying tricks so that she can talk to Pinkie one-on-one.  And by talk, I mean, threaten and call a dweeb before sending her hurtling off into the wild blue yonder.
Unaccustomed to such rudeness, Pinkie does the only thing she can think to do: complain to Twilight about Gilda.  After listening (while trying to do some research) to Pinkie rant and rave about how mean the griffin is, Twilight prepares her hypothesis, namely, Pinkie's jealous of Gilda spending time with Rainbow Dash without her.  Her solution: Pinkie needs to improve her attitude.  Pinkie has no words for this apparent missing of the point, and she storms out (though she squeaks rather than stomps).  But as she heads back into town, she realizes that Twilight could be right, and she's been judging Gilda unfairly due to jealousy.  As she drowns her sorrows in milkshakes, she spies Rainbow Dash leaving Gilda on her own to take care of some weather jobs around town, and observes Gilda's less-than-stellar behavior.  Not only does she scare Granny Smith (by using her tail to fake a rattlesnake) and steal an apple, she bullies poor Fluttershy, who was only trying to lead a family of ducks safely through town, to the point of tears.  Seeing that her initial judgement was in fact correct, Pinkie calls for "extreme measures, Pinkie Pie-style!"
Which of course means throwing a party.  Fluttershy, naturally, is unclear on why Pinkie would want to throw a party for Gilda, but Pinkie assures her that "your auntie Pinkie Pie's got it all taken care of."  Fluttershy retorts (as much as Fluttershy can retort), "I'm a year older than you." (I love it!)  At last the guest of honor arrives, and Pinkie welcomes her with a hoofshake that hides a joybuzzer.  Rainbow Dash finds this hilarious, so Gilda hides her annoyance, but once Dash is out of earshot, she warns Pinkie that she knows something's up.  Pinkie feigns innocence, quite amusingly.  She then officially gets the party started by having everyone heartily welcome Gilda.  Gilda partakes of some of the snacks, but gets a pepper-spiked lemon drop and when Rainbow Dash directs her to the punch, she grabs a dribble glass, too.  Dash, Pinkie, and the other ponies snicker, and Gilda again swallows her annoyance (and some punch from a regular cup).  Rainbow Dash points out it's time for presents, but the first one Gilda grabs turns out to be one of those "snakes in a can," to her barely hidden frustration.  And soon enough it's time for cake, with relighting candles that Gilda tries over and over to blow out.
With Gilda's irritation becoming more and more evident, Rainbow Dash makes sure that Gilda isn't upset about the pranks, and yet again, Gilda puts on a good face for Dash.  As soon as she's gone, however, she pulls Pinkie Pie behind the cake to make more threats, but before she can do much, Applejack calls for a game of Pin the Tail on the Pony.  Gilda snatches the purple tail away from Rarity, claiming her right as the guest of honor.  Pinkie Pie's down with Gilda going first, which makes Gilda suspect another prank is coming, and she heads in the opposite direction that Pinkie tells her, slipping on some frosting and taking a fall, winding up with the tail on her beak.  The titters this raises is the last straw, and Gilda totally snaps, calling the entire party out as lame and singling Pinkie out as "Queen Lam-o."  She declares herself and Dash too cool for school, and is ready to bail on the party with Rainbow Dash at her side.  But instead, Rainbow Dash tells Gilda that all the pranks were her doing, and that they weren't aimed at the griffin specifically.  Gilda can't believe it, since the idea of the party being Pinkie Pie's revenge is much more convincing.  But no, Pinkie only threw the party in the hopes of putting Gilda in a better, more pony-like, mood.  Having seen Gilda's true colors, Rainbow Dash basically breaks off their friendship.  Gilda can't think of a proper response to this, and so she calls Rainbow Dash a flip-flopper and storms out of her life, slamming the door behind her.
As the non-core ponies whisper about what just happened, Rainbow Dash apologizes for Gilda's behavior, and gives Pinkie Pie a special apology for the ruined party.  But Pinkie's not upset, mostly because she, of course, has a prank up her sleeve.  As does Rainbow Dash, and the two ponies shock each other with simultaneous joybuzzers.  Twilight also takes a moment to apologize to Pinkie for doubting her judgment earlier, and again, Pinkie holds no ill will, though there's no joybuzzing this time around.  As the party continues, Twilight drafts a letter to Princess Celestia, summing up what she's learned about friendship this time (you can't pick your friends' friends, so just be a good friend and the bad friend will be found out eventually), and even includes a gift: disappearing ink.  And Celestia totally falls for it.
I find it impossible to believe that Pinkie only threw the party to improve Gilda's attitude.  I'd rather think that she put it together and either suggested or knew that Rainbow Dash would play some pranks.  And though Rainbow Dash claimed it was just bad luck that Gilda triggered all the pranks, some where rather deliberate (i.e. Pinkie's joy buzzer and the "present") and others she seemed to guide Gilda into.  So while Gilda definitely deserved all the pranking she got, the whole thing comes off as a little too harsh.

Misc. Screenshots:
Twilight points out Rainbow Dash
Pinkie visualizes
"A simple nod will do."
Ready with the squirt turtle
Rainbow Dash sticks out her tongue
Don't mess up the 'do
Happy Gilda
Pinkie Pie attempts to justify Gilda's actions
Pinkie's got her eye on Gilda
Spike in the cake
Pinkie is shocked

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